Superstar singer Celine Dion, who was an adviser for Gwen Stefani’s team on season 12 of “The Voice,” has revealed that she was diagnosed with a rare neurological condition that has forced her to cancel her upcoming tour.
Here’s what you need to know:
Celine Dion Revealed a Diagnosis of ‘Stiff Person Syndrome’ in an Instagram Video
In an Instagram post, Dion wrote in the caption that she has been “dealing with problems with [her] health for a long time, and it’s been really difficult for [her] to face these challenges and to talk about everything” that she’s “been going through.”
In the video in which Dion is holding back tears, she elaborated on her diagnosis, telling her fans:
Hello, everyone. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to reach out to you. I miss you all so much and I can’t wait to be on stage talking to you in person.
As you know, I’ve always been an open book and I wasn’t ready to say anything before. But I’m ready now … recently, I’ve been diagnosed with a very rare neurological disorder called the Stiff Person Sydrome, which affects something like one in a million people. While we’re still learning about this rare condition, we now know this is what’s been causing all of the spasms that I’ve been having.
Unfortunately, these spasms affect every aspect of my daily life. Sometimes causing difficulties when I walk and not allowing me to use my vocal cords to sing the way I’m used to. It hurts me to tell you all today this means I won’t be ready to restart my tour in Europe in February.
I have a great team of doctors working alongside me to help me get better and my precious children, who are supporting me and giving me hope. I’m working hard with my sports medicine therapist to build back my strength and my ability to perform again, but I have to admit it’s been a struggle.
All I know is singing, it’s what I’ve done all my life. And it’s what I love to do the most. I miss you so much. I miss seeing all of you, being on the stage, performing for you. I always give 100 percent when I do my shows, but my condition is not allowing me to give you that right now.
For me to reach you again, I have no choice but to concentrate on my health at this moment and I have hope that I’m on the road to recovery. This is my focus and I’m doing everything that I can to recuperate.
She finished the video by getting visibly choked up and saying, “I want to thank you so much for your encouraging wishes of love and support on my social media. This means a lot to me. Take care of yourselves, be well. I love you guys so much and I really hope I can see you again real soon.”
Stiff Person Syndrome Is Marked by ‘Fluctuating Muscle Rigidity’
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Stiff Person Syndrome (SPS) is “a rare neurological disorder with features of an autoimmune disease.”
The site says that SPS is “characterized by fluctuating muscle rigidity in the trunk and limbs and a heightened sensitivity to stimuli such as noise, touch, and emotional distress, which can set off muscle spasms. Abnormal postures, often hunched over and stiffened, are characteristic of the disorder. People with SPS can be too disabled to walk or move, or they are afraid to leave the house because street noises, such as the sound of a horn, can trigger spasms and falls.”
The disorder is not fatal, however, due to the “frequent falls” that SPS sufferers typically endure and “because they lack the normal defensive reflexes,” they can suffer “severe” injuries from their spasms. There is no cure, but muscle relaxants, anti-convulsants, intravenous immune globulin and painrelievers can help mitigate the symptoms.
The comments on Dion’s Instagram post are full of famous friends and fans alike sending her prayers and good vibes.
Designer Donatella Versace wrote, “Celine, I am thinking of you and sending you all my love. You are talent personified and, as you get better, your power and presence will be felt everywhere again. Wishing you the speediest recovery.”